Who in the whole wide world would not relish a serving of paratha? Butter laced, fried thick rollouts of dough with a cup of extra milky, extra sweet chai to taste- there isn’t any will strong enough to not yield into this divine combination. Of course parathas are always better the good ol’ Indian way- dripping in ghee and stuffed with mostly and preferably aloo. That is until you have discovered the many different types of parathas that aren’t exactly traditional but are absolutely lip smacking delicious!
From typical savoury versions to occasional sweet ones to even the emerging gourmet parathas, this Indian specialty can come in all forms, variants, styles and sizes! Being as versatile the favorite breakfast of the nation that it is, parathas are the first and true love of every Indian- simple, feel good and heart warming. Here’s discovering the many different types of parathas to dig into to indulge the true ‘parathie’ in you-
Fry a paratha more than enough to emerge it as crisp and stern as a papad, that’s strictly NOT what a papad paratha is! It is in fact among the stuffed types of parathas, where the stuffing is papad in this case. The zesty ting of some spicy, fried papad inside the paratha confines makes this one a crispy, bitey addition to the menu. For people unable to do away with the papad craving that generally accompanies a rice thali but still want only parathas for breakfast, this is just the rescue recipe you need.
In its status as the national sweet of India, jalebis are a much loved treat here. No wonder there even is a paratha which we call the jalebi paratha even when it is nowhere close to being even mildly sweet. The name has more to do with how the paratha resembles the coiled Indian sweet in appearance. Somewhat at close quarters with a lachcha paratha but still differentiated enough, jalebi parathas follow a unique mode of preparation. While the taste is like that of a regular paratha, this is still one type of our favorite food we have been lesser aware of.
There perhaps isn’t any snack more addictive than those crunchy bhujia bits. Just the right amount of spicy to do up our chai tales and evening addas, bhujia however are as addictive incorporated in parathas. The snacky essence of the bhujia and the wholsome goodness of parathas make bhujiya paratha a rather amazing treat. The crunchiness of the bhujia further complement the trademark paratha softness to create a meal that is comforting and exciting all at once.
This isn’t any newbie though it is one of the most offbeat types of parathas. Long before other sweeter versions of the paratha took centerstage, there has been the gur paratha as the perfect sweet treat. Delicious, healthy and quite a treat, this is the quintessential grandma’s classic that would leave you utterly delighted. And of course with the goodness of jaggery in fold, you don’t have to worry going overboard with the sugar quota.
Now this is quite the rage these days. A paratha base with quintessential pizza toppings and that’s what this is. Of course you can choose to stuff the ‘toppings’ inside of the paratha if you don’t care much about the pizza look. Either way though, some cheese definitely needs to find their way into this dish. After all what’s a pizza without loads and loads of cheesiness characterising it?
Paratha stuffed with jackfruit, sounds impossible right? Not so much only if you realise that the raw jackfruit is cooked and spiced before it makes up the paratha innards. In fact this would almost be like eating a plain paratha with some jackfruit sabzi, only that you don’t have to make the extra ‘effort’ yourself!
This is one of the most unique types of parathas even when it comes with no interesting stuffing or accompaniment. The Dhakai Paratha might even confuse you at first sight- in its many flaky, visible layers, this definitely should be a paratha, lachcha paratha to be precise. But take a look at its glorious puff and you would be inclined to declare it a luchi. And that’s exactly where the beauty of this paratha rests.
Unlike the other layered parathas, dhakai parathas have layers that does not merge with each other. Instead they hover upon each other, delivering a food that looks like luchi, nimki and paratha all at once. The process sure is a complicated attempt at cookery but the end result is rewarding nonetheless. It however would be quite a task for you to relish upon some of these Dhakai Parathas given how they are not readily available and also fairly complex to make.
Given how insanely growing the population of chocolate lovers in the world is, it comes as no surprise that chocolate stuffed parathas are among the newer preference types. It might be some chocolate syrup or spread or grated chocolate or even roughly chopped chocolate, everything works in rolling out a paratha as sinful as this one!
We never would have thought raw papaya could make for a paratha stuffing in its own might. But turns out this super healthy veggie makes for a really interesting introduction to the world of parathas. Like it does when it weaves its way through into a really unique halwa preparation as well. The unique flavour of raw papaya is quite a refreshing take on the paratha preparation. With health and taste taken care of, this one makes for a filling, wholesome breakfast.
Kale Chane Ka Paratha
Chickpeas or chana is another healthy ingredient that makes for another among the many types of parathas. While parathas and choley made of chickpeas curry is in itself a classic combination, chana stuffed parathas is also as indulgent a preparation. A specialty from the wide fare of Punjabi food, this paratha also has its own name- chimtai. You can make this protein rich paratha either by grinding raw chick peas or by boiling them before making the stuffing. Either way this is going to make a paratha full of flavours and taste.
Mixed Sprouts Paratha
With people getting health conscious by the day, it’s important to come up with such recipes that keep the charm of the traditional alive while allowing for new changes. And mixed sprouts parathas are exactly the types that will keep both fitness and taste freaks happy. This is a paratha that incorporates the goodness of sprouts and in fact is known also as pahadi paratha. Interesting in taste as much as it is in concept, pahadi parathas are surely a must try.
Given how devoted Indians are to a wide array of masalas, a masala paratha comes as no aberration. Obviously fancier than a plain paratha but still fuss free, what’s not to love about these types of parathas. With all masalas mixed to the flour before kneading, masala parathas are a rather simple meal to cook up. Flavourful, somewhat spicy and yet very much a comfort meal, masala parathas can make for a delightful winter breakfast option.
As the name suggests, lifafa parathas are parathas shaped like envelopes. This isn’t exactly a type of paratha but rather a different presentation of it. Nevertheless, these are quite popular snack options given how cute they look and how easily they can be had as small bites on the go.
Paratha stuffed with noodles! That’ what this exotic treat is all about. Incorporating the love for parathas and the fancy of noodles all in one is a noodles paratha. Whether you are up for some chowmein or hakka noodles or even some Maggi, this paratha is an absolute twin delight. Just stuff some cooked noodes inside the paratha dough and fry it for an absolute flavorful fusion feast!
Now this is one divine indulgence. Soft parathas with the divine stuffing of some sweet rabdi- what’s there to not love about this utter delight? Quite a gastronomic experience in the richness of ghee, the sinful slurp of rabdi and the unbeatable delectableness of a treat that gets as heavenly as it can! This isn’t anything short of divine indulgence, an elixir in itself!
While all of us would have bite into some veggie stuffed or keema parathas or even the egg stuffed Mughlai ones, fish parathas are fairly less encountered. But they still do exist and can be a refreshing option to savour when the meaty heaviness begins to weigh down on you. Cooked fish sans its bones and tail makes the stuffing for fish parathas, which sometimes are also shaped like fishes!
A popular street food in Kolkata is one that caters as being one among the many types of parathas. Petai paratha is a rather unique paratha that is not served whole. Rather it is beaten and torn and crumpled before serving. While the dough isn’t any different from that of a regular paratha, it is the mode of serving that makes petai paratha distinctive. Flaky and crispy, yet soft and light, petai paratha would be a food experience best relished in the road side stalls in Kolkata.
Parathas are typically made on a tawa but that does not mean they cannot be cooked in a tandoor. Whether plain or stuffed, tandoori parathas are an even healthier option to have on the menu. Plus they taste quite different than the regular parathas. So if you are craving some parathas but want something lighter, turn to some tandoori parathas for taste!
An excellent way to use up some leftover vegetable curry is preparing some curried paratha. Any dry or semi dry curry can be used as the filling for the paratha, that which would be a complete meal in itself. This might be more a recipe invented out of need than of experimentation but it still makes for a rather unique paratha itself.
In almost sounding like a paratha, the parotta is very much an interpretation of the favorite breakfast staple. Native to the southern region of India, parottas however tend to be somewhat unhealthy. They are made from refined wheat flour that renders them low in nutritional value. However, when it comes to taste, these layered, flaky treats are an absolute winner. Even as being among the many types of parathas, parottas also have their own distinctions. Malabari, Kerala, Bun, Ceylon are only some of the many interesting parottas you can devour not just in south India but also in countries like Sri Lanka and the UAE.
Closely resembling the Malabari Parotta is Roti prata or Roti canai. A specialty in many south east Asian countries but not in India, this is similar to a paratha. But the prata dough also makes use of some condensed milk that obviously leads to a difference in flavour. Somewhat sweeter and denser, roti pratas also can be made with or without any filling, much like parathas.